MotoGP: Qualifying from the Malaysian GP

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On its second to last stop of the season, MotoGP heads to Sepang, Malaysia for the 2009 running of the Malaysian GP. Looking to clinch the MotoGP Championship is Valentino Rossi, who really only needs to finish in the top 10 of the next two races to keep his Championship status alive. The situation is more dire for Jorge Lorenzo, who needs to grab as many points as he can this weekend, and hope that Rossi makes a mistake along the way. More on this, after the jump.

Another 1-2 start for Fiat-Yamaha puts Rossi ahead of Lorenzo, with Rossi lapping the Sepang track over half a second quicker than his teammate. Don’t let that fool you about tomorrow though. As we’ve seen all season, Lorenzo is more than capable of keeping up with the veteran Valentino.

Also not far off the mark is Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, who were under a second of Rossi’s qualifying time. Call them the Fab 4 or the Usual Suspects, all four of these riders could find their way into the winner’s circle, but for Rossi, the race is less about victory and more about not making any mistakes.

With Rossi consistently finishing at the top of the pack this year, there is little doubt that the Italian can keep Lorenzo’s Championship hopes at bay when it comes to pure motorcycling skill. However, Lorenzo is still close enough in the points that a machine failure or crash could tip the scales into the Spaniards favor. In such a situation, Lorenzo would still need a little luck as a DNF by Rossi, either here at Sepang, or later in Valencia, would not seal the Italian’s fate because a top 4 finish at either track, would redeem Rossi, and win him the Championship crown yet again.

Stay tuned GP fans, the race will be broadcast on SPEED TV at 6pm EST.

Results from Qualifying at the Malaysian GP at Sepang, Malaysia:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff. to Prev.
1 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 2’00.518
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 2’01.087 0.569 0.569
3 3 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 2’01.254 0.736 0.167
4 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 2’01.455 0.937 0.201
5 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 2’01.716 1.198 0.261
6 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 2’01.918 1.400 0.202
7 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 2’01.980 1.462 0.062
8 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 2’02.098 1.580 0.118
9 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 2’02.195 1.677 0.097
10 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 2’02.274 1.756 0.079
11 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 2’02.362 1.844 0.088
12 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 2’02.435 1.917 0.073
13 44 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 2’02.859 2.341 0.424
14 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 2’03.032 2.514 0.173
15 33 Marco MELANDRI KAWASAKI 2’03.088 2.570 0.056
16 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 2’03.528 3.010 0.440
17 41 Gabor TALMACSI HONDA 2’03.874 3.356 0.346